Dimethylaminoethylmethacrylate (DMAEMA), a commonly-used component of visible-light polymerized dental resins, has the potential to elute and interact with tissue cells to cause cytotoxicity or sublethal metabolic changes. Short-term exposure of cultured oral epithelial cells to sublethal DMAEMA concentrations has been shown previously to affect cell neutral lipid and phospholipid metabolism, resulting in accumulation of significant quantities of dimethylphosphatidylethanolamine (DMPE). In non-treated cells, DMPE is a transient intermediate in phospholipid metabolism and is not detectable by standard methods. In the current study, the effects of prolonged exposure of cells to DMAEMA, and the mechanisms for formation of DMPE in the presence of DMAEMA were examined. Exposure of a keratinizing hamster buccal cheek pouch cell line (HCP cells) to 0.8 mM DMAEMA for 2, 3, 7, and 14 days resulted in reduced incorporation of [14C]acetate into several classes of phospholipids. DMPE was detectable at all time points in DMAEMA-exposed cultures and comprised between 12.48% and 18.33% of the total radiolabeled phospholipids. The results of short-term exchange experiments indicated that headgroup exchange was not the major reaction responsible for formation of DMPE in DMAEMA-treated cells; rather the formation appeared to occur through typical phospholipid metabolic pathways. The cells appeared able to re-establish and maintain homeostasis in the presence of this altered cell lipid composition.
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